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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

October 8, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Dentmon ready to go

The addition of three new guards to the UW roster and the return of Venoy Overton has had some wondering if senior Justin Dentmon — relegated to a reserve role at the end of last season — might find himself as the odd man out.
Not if Dentmon’s off-season has anything to do with it.
In his informal meeting with reporters Tuesday, UW coach Lorenzo Romar echoed previous comments in praising the way Dentmon has prepared for this season.
“He’s in the best shape he has been in since his freshman year,” Romar said.
That’s the season Dentmon emerged as the starting point guard on a UW team that advanced to the Sweet 16.
Romar also pointed to that season in noting that Dentmon “is our most experienced guard” and has gained wisdom that he can pass along to the younger players. “That can do nothing but help the rest of his teammates,” Romar said.
It’s easy to conclude that Dentmon has been motivated by the addition of Thomas, Elston Turner and Scott Suggs, who will make UW potentially as deep in the backcourt as as any time since Roy was a junior and played alongside Nate Robinson, Will Conroy and Tre Simmons.
But Dentmon says his motivation is more personal — he wants to get back to the NCAA Tournament one more time.
“We’ve got a lot of goals,” he said Tuesday. “Win the first tournament we are in, win 20 games, win the Pac-10. Making the tournament is our long-term goal.”
So with his last chance to do any of those things, Dentmon says he is leaving nothing to chance.
He said he weighs 186-188 depending on the day, down from the 195 when he memorably ballooned up during his subpar sophomore season. “I”m glad I jumped out of that body,” he said with a laugh.
Having never really done squad lifts before he got to UW, now he says he can handle about 350 pounds.
“I feel fast, light on my feet,” he said.
He’s also happily embracing what may be a different role.
With Thomas and Overton likely to share a lot of the point guard duties, Dentmon is probably headed to becoming more of a shooting guard, possibly doing so in a sixth-man role.
Dentmon agreed Tuesday that is likely to be his job this year and said “I’m fine with anything they want me to do.” He said not coming back to bring the ball up the court “will be an adjustment I have to make, a habit I have to break. … but it’s fine with me.”
He’s been preparing for it all off-season. Dentmon said he did shooting drills three times a day at least five times a week, saying the total number of shots “was probably 1,000 a day.”
He said a regular routine was shooting in the morning with teammate Joe Wolfinger, in afternoons with Justin Holiday and former Husky Bobby Jones, “and at night by myself.” He said he worked on all kinds of different situations, coming off screens and spot shooting.
Word is the work has paid off. Observers of the informal runs have often said Dentmon looks like one of the most productive players on the court.
As for the freshmen, Dentmon has nothing but kind words.
“As a group, they are a little faster than usual,” he said. “They are doing a good job.”

Comments | Topics: Scott Suggs

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